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Visual Distortion

pipermartz's picture

It can be quite surprising to step back for a moment and think- not once, not twice, but many times- about which visual should represent your internet presence. It seems silly to hesistate over such a simple task, but it is difficult to find one image with those implied "1,000 words" that will be the right words you want people to associate you with. How I precieve my avatar will be different than how anyone else interprets my avatar, so maybe my self-satisfaction is the priority in this decision. I can't be sure. 

I ultimately landed upon a very physically distorted, black and white film photograph of a nude woman standing beside the decrepit walls of a presumably run-down building. Our eyes follow the light coming from an unknown source to her left, which bring her body to full attention. But there is a huge, bulbus burn mark on the photograph that completely obscurs her face, her most identifiable feature. She becomes a pair of legs.

As a photographer, I love returning to this photo and finding comfort and frustration in it. The subject's identity is lost in the photo because of a perfectly placed physical distortion. That's how I feel about choosing an avatar because so many aspects of my life, my identity, and myself as a being become invsisible the moment I actively single out one image to represent me in a way that I hope others will precieve me. This selection process dilberatly manipulates, distorts, and limits how the public views us.